Create a Bariatric Diet & Exercise Plan that Works for You

Posted by Patrick Domkowski on Thu, Nov 27, 2014

One of the toughest parts about the bariatric lifestyle is sticking to your post-op diet and exercise plan. The surgery will help you lose weight, but your eating and exercise habits will ensure that the weight stays off. After you progress to eating solid foods, your diet has to drastically alter to foods and drinks with low-sugar and low-fat. When you’re recovered from your surgery, you’ll have to begin exercising regularly in order to lose your maximum amount of weight and maintain that progress. These are the two key elements that will get you your life back. By creating a bariatric diet and exercise plan that work for your schedule, your body, and your life, you’ll be able to get back to being a healthier and overall happier you. Here are some tips that’ll help you make a diet and exercise regimen that you’ll want to stick to.

Your Exercise Plan
The key to making your exercise plan work for you is to start out slow and set realistic goals for yourself. You’re not expected to jump out of the hospital bed and be able to run ten miles. You have to build up your muscles and tolerance. In fact, overexerting yourself and pushing too hard can do more harm to your body, result in injury, and overall hinder your weight loss progress. However, you still have to make sure that you’re getting out there and exercising on a daily routine. Many people find it it incredibly difficult to exercise prior to surgery because of health conditions, like difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, but by working with your surgeons and developing an exercise plan that’s appropriate for you, no obstacles will be able to get in your way.bariatric-diet-exercise-plan
  • Get motivated. Learning about the benefits of your diet and exercise plans will help you really understand how important it is and give you motivation to do it daily. Here are some of the benefits that an active exercise routine will add to your life:

    • Burns calories
    • Reduces fat
    • Builds muscle
    • Lowers blood pressure
    • Increases energy
    • Increases overall quality of life
    • Relieves stress
    • Improves mood and self-esteem
  • Keep in contact with your surgeon. Keeping in contact with your bariatric surgeon is an incredibly important part of your exercise plan. You’ll need to check in with them a few weeks after surgery to get approval to increase physical activity. They’re the ones that are going to help keep you safe during this process. Contact your doctor if you feel any sort of sharp pain or complications when working out.

  • Start with a warm-up. After you’ve obtained clearance to work out on a regular basis, you should be doing just that. Starting your exercises with a warm-up will give you better results from your workout and help prevent injury to your muscles.

  • Take the stairs. Whether you’re at work or running errands, there is always the temptation to take the elevator or escalator. Instead, take the stairs so that you can get a nice cardio boost. Even a little goes a long way.

  • Park your car far away and walk. This is the same premise as taking the stairs. Get some exercise in whenever you can, especially if your days are jam-packed with things you need to get done.

  • Water aerobics and swimming. Both of these exercises are great physical activities that have very low impact on your body. So if jumping around and running aren’t things you enjoy, try water activities.

  • Find an active hobby. Turn off the computer and TV, and get out there! Housework, gardening, sports and yoga are all active hobbies that you can take up instead of watching the television for hours.


Your Diet Plan

Your ability to stick to a healthy diet after weight loss surgery plays a big role in achieving your weight loss goals. After your transition to normal, solid foods, watching what you put into your body is all up to you and your dedication to your diet. By using these tips to help you follow your bariatric diet plan, success will be closer with each bite.

  • Change how you eat. You have to be mindful of not just what you eat, but also how you eat. The amount of food and liquid that your new stomach can hold is very limited now. Because of this, you need to learn how to eat slowly, and chew every bite of food thoroughly in order to avoid getting sick. Drinking with meals is also discouraged. This will help your digestive system, prevent nausea and discomfort, and give you time to realize that your hunger is satiated and that you don’t need to eat anymore.

  • Count your calories every day. Many patients are unaware of the amount of calories that they’re consuming on a daily basis. You may be eating the right foods, but not paying close enough attention to your portion sizes. Keep a food journal and log each meal, every snack, and any beverages that you intake every day. Consult your surgeon or dietician with the journal so that they can help you make sure your diet is on track.

  • Don’t drink your calories away. Whenever possible, substitute water for any other drinks. Water will quickly become your bariatric best friend. Sodas, sports drinks and juices often contain surprising amounts of sugar and calories. These beverages aren’t worth the wasted calories.

  • Protein, protein, protein. Protein helps your body heal, burn more calories, maintain proper muscle and organ function, and keep you full longer. It’s one of the most important nutrients needed for bariatric patients.

  • Celebrate small accomplishments. Transforming your lifestyle is not easy. As you become better adjusted to bariatric eating and exercise, reward yourself for reaching your realistic goals. Go out to the movies, buy yourself an outfit, or cook yourself your favorite meal. Stay healthy and active, while also making sure that you’re celebrating your accomplishments with things that make you happy.

Create a diet and exercise plan that works for your busy lifestyle. Don’t cheat yourself by not utilizing the surgery as a tool to help you lose the weight. Take advantage of this opportunity to live a healthier and more accomplished life. By following these bariatric tips for diet and exercise, you can create a plan that you’ll want to stick with. If you have any questions about bariatric diet and exercise, contact Riverside today! We can help you make a plan that you’ll enjoy following and that will lead you to succeeding your weight loss milestones.

Tags: Bariatric Surgery Exercises

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